Thailand was one of the first countries in the world to reopen its doors to international tourists, late in 2021. However, international tourists which landed in the Asian holiday haven have complained that the terms and conditions didn’t match the big announcements that they were promised.
Industry insiders feel that tourists are preferring to go to other countries which have clearer COVID measures instead of Thailand where there are debates still going on over ending quarantine entry. In fact, Thailand has abandoned its ‘Test and Go’ quarantine protocol only recently on May 1, enabling vaccinated travellers to enter freely, while a heavily complicated pre-departure registration scheme, known as the ‘Thailand Pass’ is also likely to be phased out in the coming weeks.
Islands such as the Becca, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Phi Phi, and Koh Tao are all back into the business welcoming tourists from all around the globe.
A Krabi-based tour operator, Naren Fangkwa in a conversation with AlJazeera, said that while there is a steady flow of tourists, he laments the absence of wealthier tourists. He now only sees young people like university students and backpackers who usually don’t opt for costly tour packages.
Krabi is situated on the west coast of southern Thailand and has a 40% Muslim population. Middle Eastern visitors are a mainstay for locals who conduct halal tours for sightseeing, religious visits, and food.
Another self-employed tour operator, Atittaya Kajay, who sells boat trips to nearby islands, has stated that how he is now barely earning 5% as compared to what he used to earn before the pandemic.